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Jess M.
Jess M., Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer Hardware
Satisfied Customers: 6137
Experience:  Computer Hardware Support Specialist for more than 10 years
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My mainboard sees 8 gb ram installed but says only 4gb useable.

Customer Question

my mainboard sees 8 gb ram installed but says only 4gb useable. took ram out and re installed but no change. 2 slots 4gb each. ram is recognized but 4 useable. 64 bit win 7...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer Hardware
Expert:  Jason Jones replied 1 year ago.





If anyone wishes to ask Jason a question directly,
they can do so at the following page: www.JasonFixedit.com

Hello,
I am a licensed network professional with over 15 years of professional experience. I am the technician assigned to your case today. I look forward to working with you and resolving this problem.
I can see that you may need a little bit of extra help.
May I ask if you still need help with this problem? If so, may I start a screen sharing session on your computer and help you resolve the problem?
Once the remote session begins, we will be able to communicate via a chat window on your computer.
Thank you,
Jason
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I would like to resolve this problem. It is on my son's computer so I would ask we set a time to chat about it when he is not using it. Later in the evening or early in the morning is best for me. Let me know when is good for you.

Scott

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
long time with no response.
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, welcome and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I am glad to assist you today.

I am very sorry about your memory issues. Can you please tell me the exact make and model of your motherboard?

Please let me know so that I can help you further.

Best regards,
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) AM3

Has 8 gb RAM and recognizes 8. Only 4 useable.

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for writing back with that information. Your mobo (short for motherboard) can support up to 16GB of RAM so your 2x4GB RAM should not be a problem.

Do you have a dedicated video card installed in your system? I am asking because the graphics display will utilize "some" of your RAM so WIndows 7 will only use the RAM that is not associated or used by the shared video memory.

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Recently installed Sapphire dual X R9 270 graphics accelerator card. Have a 6 core processor.

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Wow, so shared video memory should not be a problem then.

Please try to do the following to fix your memory issues:

1. Open teh RUN dialog by pressing Windows logo key and press R. (Winkey + R)
2. In the RUN dialog box, type "msconfig" (without the quotes)
3. Click OK or press Enter
4. In the System Configuration dialog box, click on the Boot tab
5. Click Advaced options... button
6. UNCHECK the options for "Number of processors" and "Maximum memory"
7. Click OK
8. Click Apply
9. Click OK to close System Configuration
10. Restart the computer and see if the 8GB RAM is now recognized and usable.

I hope that helped.

Please remember to rate my service positively (3-5 stars/faces) if this helped. Tips are always highly appreciated!

If you need further assistance, please do not rate me negatively with 1 or 2 faces. Instead, please reply to me so that I can help you further.

Thank you!

Best regards,
Jess
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

How is it going? Were you able to UNCHECK the 2 options I described to you in the System Configuration dialog? Please let me know your results so that I can help you further.

The next thing that we can try is to "re-seat" the memory sticks to ensure that all its pins are seated properly.

Keep me posted.

Best regards,
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Okay. Did as you requested. No change...8gb installed, 4gb usable.

Could it possibly be that I am sharing RAM with the integrated video even though it is not in use?How would I check/disable if it were?

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for writing back and I am very sorry about your persisting issues. The next thing that I suggest you carefully do is "re-seat" your memory sticks.

Turn off the computer and eject the 2 memory sticks that you installed. Swap their position, for instance, you have RAM 1 in Slot A and RAM 2 in Slot B. Carefully and gently install RAM 1 in Slot 2 and make sure that you hear a click sound when the memory stick is gently pushed to its seat. Make sure that the pins are seated properly by gently pushing the ends part pf the memory module.

Do the same for RAM 2 when you install it in Slot A.

When the memory sticks are seated and installed successfully, please turn on the computer then see if WIndows 7 now detects your 8GB of RAM.

Regarding the video sharing option, yes you can disable it in your BIOS. Access your BIOS settings and locate the video memory related settings there. Disable it, then save and exit.

Test your Windows 7 and see if 8GB of ram is now detected.

I hope that helped.

Please remember to rate my service positively (3-5 stars/faces) if this helped. Tips are always highly appreciated!

If you need further assistance, please do not rate me negatively with 1 or 2 faces. Instead, please reply to me so that I can help you further.

Thank you!

Best regards,
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Removed and reseated both sticks of ram. Same results. Last year I upgraded/new install of Win7 64 bit system. I have Window.old using 126 gb space. Could that have any bearing on this issue. Could I delete Windows.old file or would it corrupt Windows?
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Thank you for writing back and I am very sorry about your persisting issues. Regarding the Windows.old files, yes, you can delete it or simply CUT it and PASTE it in your Desktop. This old folder is important since it hold all your old program settings and files but I doubt if there is a service that is running in the background in that Windows.old folder that prevents the 8GB of RAM to be detected.

Can you please confirm that the 2 RAM sticks are seated and locked in the slots with the end-clips?

Also, have you tried to access your BIOS settings already. I believe this happened because previously, you were using onboard graphics, your computer was dedicating part of your RAM to the graphics chip in your processor. Since you just installed a new graphics card, you need to go into the BIOS and tell it to not share RAM with the onboard graphics chip. This will vary by what type of BIOS you have but you should be able to look that up. The goal is to access the BIOS and then locate settings there that allows and disallows sharing of RAM with video or graphics card. In your case, you need to disallow or turn off that ram sharing with the graphics card.

Keep me posted.
Jess

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. I built the computer 18 months ago. 8gb ram detected...4gb usable. Ram is recognized but not available. Still have a hunch integrated video has it on reserve...even with separate Saphire card in slot.
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for writing back. Please try to access your BIOS and check your memory/ram sharing or allocation feature for the video card there. Depending on your BIOS version, you can access it by pressing Del or F2 during startup. Navigate the commands there and check if you can turn OFF the ram/memory sharing with your video card.

Also, please check your motherboard's manufacturer's website and check if there is a new version of the BIOS that you can flash on to upgrade your BIOS.

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there an option to turn off memory sharing on integrated or on board video? I will look under advanced peripherals...or is it somewhere else? Thanks.
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, there is such settings in the BIOS. I will try to look for your BIOS online so that I can assist you with that.

Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
MSI 760GM-P23 (FX) AM3
Has 8 gb RAM and recognizes 8. Only 4 useable.
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for that information. I am viewing your mobo's specs right now and I noticed that there is a BIOS update available for your motherboard. You can download and flash this BIOS update and check if the 8GB RAM is then detected.

Here is the link:
http://www.msi.com/support/mb/760GM-P23-FX.html#down-bios

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great! I will give that a try as well. I will let you know later this evening or in the morning...thanks, Scott
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Scott and please take your time. I am viewing your BIOS screenshots now so that I can help you locate the setting that will turn off memory sharing for your graphics card. I will let you know when I find it in the series of screen shots in the online manual.

Best regards,
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Disabled integrated video and removed Windows.old. Freed up 125 gb space but still have only 4 gb ram usable.
.??? Tried to update three different bios patches but got same error message....not compatible with my version of windows. What now? :(
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I went into my msconfig section and into the boot section.
Here is a portion of System Summary:
Installed physical memory. 8.00 gb
Total physical memory. 4.00 gb
Available physical memory. 2.63 gb
Total virtual memory. 8.00 gb
Available virtual memory. 6.50 gb
Page file space. 4.00 gb
Page file. C:\pagefile.sys
Make any thing out of this?
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for writing back and I'm very sorry about your persisting issues.
Regarding the BIOS upgrade, you need to do it inside the BIOS itself using the FLASH menu there. You need to download the BIOS in a USB stick then go to BIOS and use the Flash menu.

But before you do that, please try to Load BIOS Defaults first then restart the computer and see if the problem is gone. If not, please proceed to flashing the BIOS.

Thanks.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Returned Bios to default. Then optimal configuration. Still same results. After reboot, at bottom of Bios screen it says, version 17.13... Memory. 4096 mb. Arghhhh.
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for writing back and I am very sorry about your persisting issues. Did you mean that in the BIOS, only 4096MB is detected?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was in the setup menu on the CMOS setup page. At the bottom of screen outside of the menu options area, this is the line item:

BIOS VERSION V17.13 FREQUENCY 3300 MHZ PHYS MEM. 4080mb

Those memory numbers listed above in the 5:03 reply were from the system summary page inside of msconfig.

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for writing back and I am very sorry about the persisting issues. Since you have already loaded the BIOS default settings and that it only shows 4096MB of RAM, it means that in the BIOS level only 4GB of RAM is detected. Windows cannot use the RAM if it is not detected in the BIOS level.

Now, have you already flashed the BIOS updates using the procedures I gave you?

Also, did you buy these RAM sticks together? Are they of same brand/model or type?

Lastly, can you confirm that the RAM sticks have are firmly seated with locks on both ends?

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have yet to flash the updates. The memory is matching and purchased together. They are inserted properly and seated as well. The info on the Bios updates don't mention anything about memory fixes. How many of the updates do I flash? in the Bios flash section it specifies only using updates for "A7641AMS" and "FAT/FAT32"...Is this anything? I would have thought it would be NTFS instead...

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Please refer to this link:
http://www.msi.com/support/mb/760GM-P23-FX.html#down-bios

Download the ZIP file that is listed as the latest version and extract. Then run the AFUD4310.EXE file and see if it will flash the BIOS.

If not, then you need to Flash the BIOS using the extracted HH0 file in the BIOS Flash menu.

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I tried to run the .exe file but error message says not compatible with my version of windows. check to see if I need x86(32bit) or 64(64bit) version and then contact software publisher...??? Did not try and flash bios with HHO file fearing it would not be compatible either and lock up BIOS...

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Can you please check for me the version and date of your BIOS software? I am asking because in the list of BIOS updates, there was a specific update that improved memory compatibility dated 2012-02-17. If your BIOS version is older than that, I strongly suggest you update to this BIOS version.

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Version is: V17.13 I don't know date. I built the computer in 2013 I believe. Would have to research for exact date I purchased componets. But Bios version is above right off CMOS screen.

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Can you please try (just try, do not execute if you are afraid to lock the BIOS) M-Flash menu in your BIOS? It will ask you for a source file, please check the file extension that the M-Flash tool is looking for.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I tried to flash HHO file during start up but could not find any "load Media" to choose from. It didnt ask me for anything...load media greyed out...

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
What exactly happens when you select M-Flash?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Why don't you tell me how to do it. I put my flash drive in usb port and restart...keyboard will not function...I take flash drive out and restart...keyboard functions but system doesn't see any other drives than DVD and Harddrive. Frown

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
No, I don't have the same exact computer with that motherboard like you have there so I cannot simulate your case. I was just asking if you can access your BIOS and then use the M-Flash menu there. As per your mobo's documentation, when you use that feature, the system will ASK you for the USB drive where the upgrade file is stored. I just want to know what type of file in the USB drive that it is asking for, if it is the HH0 file.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My frustration is not with you. I have been messing with these desktops too long! I have the files on a usb stick but don't know how to get the M flash feature to find/see them. Thanks for your patience...Yell

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
I'm really sorry about your persisting issues. When you select M-Flash in your BIOS, can you please describe to me what happens? Does it prompt you for a source of the BIOS upgrade file? Or does it simply do nothing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I select it then I have to choose between Disable, Update Bios, Boot. The boot option then asks to Boot from USB media. When I select that It says No Media Found. USB stick in port but i dont think it is looking anywhere. Under Update Bios option it says no media found and below it is a Line for Select Media but when I select it, same message...No Media Found.

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for writing back with that information. I believe the appropriate option there in indeed "Update BIOS".

However, I believe that you need to FORMAT the USB drive and store only the BIOS files. There BIOS files are the ones that you extracted from the downloaded BIOS file. That is, after downloading the BIOS file from the link I gave you, extract its contents (3 files only) and then copy these extracted files to the blank or newly formatted USB drive. Then use M-Flash again.

This link has screen shots:
https://service.msicomputer.com/msi_user/support/techfaqdetail.aspx?formid=3134

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Screenshot says move only one file to stick. You say move all three...also the three on extraction do not have the file identifier listed on CMOS page

A7641AMS

oh wait...it has A7641AMS.HHO

is that the one?

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, the BIOS update file there is the one ending with .HH0
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Bios update successful.

Physical Memory 8gb (4gb usable)

Frown

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the update and I am glad that the BIOS upgrade went successfully. Can youplease confirm if in the BIOS, 8GB of RAM is already detected?Also, please go to MSCONFIG again then click Boot tab => Advanced Options. CHECK the Maximum Memory option. Do you see 8192 there? Set it to 8192, click Apply, click OK and reboot the system.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Bios detecting only 4080 mb RAM.

When I click Maximum Memory it will show 8192. After I apply I will reopen it and it shows some other value; different each time, sometimes 0.

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
It appears that the problem is at the BIOS level since it only detected 4GB. Can you try to install 1 ram stick only and see if it works? Like this: install RAM 1 in slot b and test. Then remove ram 1 and install Ram 2 in slot b then test. This is to test though if each individual stick works alone.

If the tests are successful , please go to the BIOS again and locate options there for power. Please tell me if you can manually select voltage settings there like 1.65+ or something similar.

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will but in the mean time is this an issue with the mainboard? Windows sees 8 gb installed but 4 usable. So I am thinking the memory sticks work but something or somewhere on the MOBO is jumpered or set to restrict to 4 gb memory only...Don't know what voltage settings would have to do with it...

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
The problem here could be the mobo itself or the memory stisks that is why I am asking to test each stick individually.

Regarding the voltage settings, yes it has bearing to this as the minimum required voltage for the sticks is 1.5 so you need to see and test if you can set it above that minimum.

Also, there are 2 defaults in your BIOS, Failsafe and the Optimized defaults. Please try to load these defaults one at a time as well to test if these default settings can fix the RAM problem.

Regards,
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

it will be tomorrow and I will check. Thanks...in the morning.

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. Please take your time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Studied Bios setup utility for an hour. I found Mem-Z which gave identical numbers for both sticks of ram. Under Cell Menu I found numerous settings for CPU and Memory but all listed in AUTO category. The Voltage settings were AUTO as well and range between 1.25 and 2.4. AUTO was shaded so I could not make any adjustments.

Reloaded both default settings with no change.Looked for DRAM settings but found none. The sticks of RAM work in either slot (only 2) independently always showing 4 gb installed. Even with both in place BIOS says 4080 mb

on setup utility. Must be associated with motherboard itself, a jumper or something.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,Thank you for writing back and I am very sorry about the persisting issues. Yes I believe the problem is in the mobo. Please try to do the following for me:1. Go to your BIOS settings => Cell Menu. Our concern now is in the Memory-Z settings2. In Memory Z, what is the listed timing there for your DRAM? (Like 8-8-8-19)3. Can you try to change that timing manually?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Here is what I found;

Memory DDR3 1600

cycle time 1.250 ns

Advance DRAM config

TSB/DRAM Ratio (auto)

11-11-11-28

Dram timing mode (auto) other options is Link, Unlink

1T/2T Memory timing (auto) other options 1T, 2T

Bank Interleaving (auto) other option Disabled

I think I would have to change the Dram timing mode to be able to change the timing but do not know better/proper values to enter.

Another concern is the low cycle time...1.250 ns.

Suggestions?

Thanks.

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for writing back. Please take note of the original numbers (11-11-11-28). Please change each ram to 10-10-10-24 and save and exit and test if the 8GB of memory is detected.

If the problem continues, you can try clearing your CMOS settings to revert it to original factory settings.

Keep me posted.
Jess
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Changed timing as you said...
10 10 10 24
No change to recognition.
8 gb installed 4 usable.
Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, at this point, please try to clear the CMOS using the motherboard jumper.IMPORTANT, please turn OFF the computer before you clear the CMOS through the jumper.When the system is off, look into your motherboard and locate the jumper JBAT1 near the lithium battery.Use any metal to "short the pins" or if you have a jumper there, you can use it too but the idea is the same -- to short the JBAT pins for 10 to 15 seconds.After that, turn ON the computer then test if the BIOS detects 8GB of RAM
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Cleared CMOS.

Bios says 4096 mb Ram

Expert:  Jess M. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for writing back and I am sorry about the persisting issues. I just would like to confirm this one more time, but you can ignore this if you have already tried this.

First, please remove the other RAM stick and just use 1 RAM. The goal is to test if the RAM sticks work alone.

Here are the several tests you need to make:

1. RAM 1 on Slot A (test to see if 4GB is detected by system, not WIndows)
2. RAM 1 on Slot B (still test on system if 4GB detected)
3. RAM 2 on Slot A
4. RAM 2 on Slot B

After making those tests, it will prove if the RAM sticks are working when installed alone.

Now,still with only ONE ram stick installed, access the BIOS => Cell Menu => Memory Z.

There, please ENABLE the option for Bank Interleaving. If the options are Auto and Disable, and it has been in Auto setting, please Disable it instead.

Save and Exit then test.

Also, can I remotely access your computer so that I can use some tools to scan your memory profile while you watch?

Remote access is an optional additional service offer with a minimal one-time flat fee ($10) regardless of how long it will take me to fix the problem. We can resume any time without additional cost. It is safe as you will be watching your screen and we can chat right there, and it will be a faster mode of help.

Please let me know if you want this remote option.

Best regards,
Jess